John Adams | Fly By Night

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Fly By Night

by John Adams

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Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sweet and Lovely
8:41 $0.99
2. Fly By Night
6:41 $0.99
3. Romantique
8:07 $0.99
4. Dues and Dont's
10:48 $0.99
5. Lover Man
10:01 $0.99
6. You and the Night and the Music
6:54 $0.99
7. Stella by Starlight
12:20 $0.99
8. In the Madness of My Being There
5:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Album "Fly By Night" is another beautiful acoustic-jazz release from bassist John Adams. It captures John's Quartet playing live at Houston's "Ovations" club, and demonstrates his abilities not only as a bassist, but also as a band-leader and writer.
An astonishing musical rapport has developed since this group began performing together in 1990. Their complex musical texture always conveys a strong sense of melody and rhythm which captivates the sophisticated jazz listener as well as the novice. They perform an array of jazz originals and standards, many from Adams' and LoCascio's acclaimed CD's. Their abilities of communication have made them one of the most powerful acoustic-jazz groups to emerge in this region.

This set of eight tunes (69 min.) consists of three new Adams originals, one by pianist Joe LoCascio, and Adams' intriguing arrangements of four standards. The quartet shows it colors as one of the most musical and creative jazz units in the region, delivering it all with swing and conviction.


John Adams/Bass - As an accomplished acoustic and electric bassist, John Adams is one of the Southwest's most versatile and in-demand musicians. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of North Texas, where for ten years he was also the jazz bass instructor. He is also active as producer, arranger, composer, music contractor, and workshop clinician.

Through his “” website, John provides bass parts for recording clients ranging across the US, as well as internationally. He has backed and/or recorded for a wide array of artists including Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Woody Herman, Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm, Joe McBride, Bobby Lyle, Chet Baker, Clark Terry, Dave Liebman, Phil Driscoll, Wayne Watson, and others. His broad musical background has also included symphonic and pit/show work.

Through his Congruent Music label, Adams has released eight highly acclaimed and widely varied CD projects, including the stunning “John and Mark’s Excellent Rock Adventure,” (2012), and “Trios Two” (2013), sequel to the “Trios” CD (’06), which feature five different trio instrumentation combinations, each with a compelling rapport. Adams’ jazz CDs have received radio airplay on over 160 stations nationwide, and have been prominently featured on various online radio formats. His debut "Jump Shot" CD ('96) features New York and regional artists, and showcases John’s formidable writing skills. "Fly By Night" ('99) features an exceptional acoustic-jazz quartet in an intimate club setting, and the tasteful and sultry, "With You In Mind" CD ('01) showcases studio/jazz musicians from Dallas, Austin, and L.A. The “Live!" CD ('04) captures the intensity and variety of the group in concert performances. The “Thumbs Up,” CD (’09) is a state-of-the-art studio production with a fresh, contemporary sound, exciting originals and stunning arrangements of some surprising classics.


Band Biographies

Dennis Dotson/Trumpet - Dennis Dotson's exceptional technical and improvisational abilities and rich tone have made him one of the premiere trumpet players in the region. Since 1965, he has had a long and varied career as a jazz musician, freelance commercial musician, and educator. After performing in the house show bands in Las Vegas for 5 years, he was trumpet soloist in the Woody Herman Orchestra for 3 years, and later lived in New York. He has performed with Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Buddy Rich, Carl Fontana, and Chuck Israels, among others. Dotson has been clinician/guest soloist at dozens of colleges and universities, and is currently an instructor at the University of Houston, and at Houston Community College.

Joe LoCascio/Piano - Originally from New York, Joe LoCascio has resided in Houston since 1977 after attending the University of Bridgeport. He has recorded and/or performed with jazz luminaries such as Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Ernie Watts, George Mraz, George Coleman, Arnett Cobb and Marvin Stamm among others. Joe is a lead instructor on the jazz faculty at Houston Community College. A prolific composer, LoCascio has eight albums as a leader to his credit, each one undergirded by compelling and creative original tunes. His two trio CD's, "Silent Motion" and "A Charmed Life," featuring both Soph and Adams, have received national airplay and high praise from critics and reviews. His other recent releases include "Home" a beautiful collection of Joe's solo-piano performances of ten jazz standards, and the trio recording "Close to So Far."

Ed Soph/Drums - His drumming provides a rare and dynamic combination of technical virtuosity, rhythmic ingenuity, and musical sensitivity. A native of Houston, Ed Soph studied classical percussion as well as jamming with local jazz greats Arnett Cobb, Jimmy Ford and Don Wilkerson. As an alumnus of North Texas State's One O'Clock Lab Band, Ed moved on to New York. From there he toured and recorded internationally with jazz legends such as Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman, Slide Hampton, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, and many others. Since returning to Texas in 1987, Ed Soph serves as head of the jazz percussion department at the University of North Texas, and maintains a busy schedule as a performer, recording artist and clinician nationwide.

Warren Sneed/Sax – Since 2000, as the director of jazz studies at the famed Houston School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Warren Sneed is one of the most active musicians in the Houston area. He is an alumnus of the University of North Texas, and its famed One O'Clock Lab Band. Warren's energetic and creative playing has accorded him performances with artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Wheeler, Kent Jordan, and Hal Crook. Besides leading his own groups, including a long-term weekly engagement at the prestigous Brennan's Restaurant, and performing as a sideman, Sneed also teaches jazz history and improvisation at Houston Community College. He has released his first solo-CD, entitled "Brothers," featuring artists such as Jimmy Haslip of "The Yellow Jackets" and others.



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John Patitucci

A beautiful set of music that has everything going for it.
John Adams is an elegant bassist, laying down a powerful foundation for the group, and his solos are lyrical and thoughtful. His depth is complemented by his vision as a leader/writer. Here he has organized a format that utilizes straight-forward and effective arrangements with ample room for group interplay.

"Fly By Night" was recorded live, but with great clarity, allowing the listener to hear every detail, and benefit from the spontaneity and intimacy that the club-setting affords.

The musicians all play with maturity and depth. It is obvious that Adams and Soph have been playing together for many years, combining power and swing, with a relaxed confidence. Ed's mastery and tasteful virtuosity gives the group a loose and open feeling which stimulates each soloist. His own solos are creatively orchestrated and beautifully played.

Pianist, Joe LoCascio not only shines throughout, but also contributes a hauntingly beautiful composition that ends the recording. Dennis Dotson's playing is imaginative and sophisticated, and the cameos of saxophonist Warren Sneed add another creative voice to the group.

I met John Adams about twenty years ago and he was already a fine bassist then. His dedication was as inspirational then as it is now.

-John Patitucci

Their playing is confident and strong, supple and lyrical.
The John Adams Quartet conjures up an image of a four-volume biography of an American President or perhaps a new minimalist string quartet from a contemporary composer. The ubiquitous-named John Adams is a bassist from Texas and his quartet plays the wide swath of America's midsection focusing on that most American of sounds, jazz. They are so focused that they play it extremely well.

Each member of the Quartet, that includes John Adams, Dennis Dotson on trumpet, Joe LoCascio on piano and Ed Soph on drums, have been playing with a long line of well-known jazz luminaries and performing together as a band for about ten years. Their latest CD shows how well they play together.

This CD, a live 1999 performance, is entitled "Fly By Night." One can only assume the title refers to the fact that they teach by day (they are music instructors at University of North Texas, University of Houston, and Houston Community College), and do what they really want to do at night and that is play ensemble jazz. One can hear that there is a collective sense to each other's moves. There is a lot of give-and-take, allowing each of the performers their own space. The solos are well done and sober. No soloist is particularly flashy (no one is trying to outshine the other). Instead, their brilliance is playing as a band.

There is a quiet majestic feel to their playing of "Sweet and Lovely." Adams and Dotson perform a delicate interplay on "In the Madness of My Being There." There is a sense of a Rashomon perspective from each of the three soloists on the incredibly sad and beautiful "Lover Man." And not surprisingly, these bespectacled instructors go slightly wild, but never lose control, on "Fly By Night." Their playing is confident and strong, supple and lyrical. -John Doll

Kelly Dean

A terrific collection... brings together the best of Texas.
Dallas. Houston. This state ain't big enough for the two of them. Houstonians hate Dallasites. Dallasites ignore Houstonians. Dallas is far too cosmopolitan to be stuck between Oklahoma & Lousiana, but there they are. Houston wants to be cosmopolitan, but can't seem to shake the rodeo image. So, the Centerville skirmish continues.

Once in a great while, though, a story will crop up about some sort of goodwill between the two cities. With "Fly By Night," bassist John Adams proves to be a credible peacekeeper in the battle for Interstate 45.

With fellow Dallas/Denton resident Ed Soph on the drums, Adams has enlisted some of the best & brightest of the Houston, JazzHouston, community. Enter Joe LoCascio on piano & trumpeter extraordinaire Dennis Dotson (along with an all-too-brief appearance from tenor saxophonist Warren Sneed).

No question about it--the guys are at the top of their game. These are the musicians that other musicians pay to see. From the driving blues of "Dues and Dont's" to the gently pulsating bossa "Romantique," the attention to detail and finesse are apparent throughout this CD.

This CD was recorded live at the now defunct Ovations. The sound of that room can be heard as a major component in the final product---whether this is a good thing or not depends upon the listener's opinion of the "Cavern Formerly Known As Ovations", but the sonic imprint is at no time intrusive to the music. Your nostalgia may vary.

Back to the particularly successful moment comes on the title track. After a spirited romp by Dotson and his trumpet, the bottom drops out to reveal LoCascio flying solo on piano. When the rest of the rhythm section joins back in, they do so with the utmost precision (what else would you expect from these artisans?)----a thrilling moment to behold.

Another masterful touch is the tag-team arrangement on "Stella By Starlight." LoCascio starts it off with a wonderful soliloquy. After stating the melody, Adams slides in, and a marvelous conversation insues between the two. At the end of this dialogue, the two of them hand the tune over to Soph & Dotson, who continue the discussion seamlessly. LoCascio lends his support, and Adams eventually returns. All of this in just the first 1/3 of the track! S'wonderful.

The Adams/Soph combination is a partnership developed over years of performances together, and it shows brilliantly. The bass/drum relationship is such an important part of any successful jazz ensemble, but with these guys the symbiosis is so strong that the focus invariably shifts toward the soloist of the moment. Like a great athlete, they make it look easy.

John Adams has delivered a terrific collection, and he's brought together the best of Texas. I guess those Dallas guys aren't so bad after all... -Kelly Dean